6 Rhode Island Bubble Tea Shops Worth the Hype
If you prefer your tea packed and chilled with boba, these are the spots for you.
If you prefer your tea chilled and packed with irresistible chewy pearls (those are the bubbles, otherwise known as boba) at the bottom of your cup, these spots have you covered.
Boba Lova Tea and Snack Bar
Come for the bubble tea, stay for the fluffy mochi doughnuts in flavors like ube, churro or some variation of chocolate. Order one, six or twelve of the treats to bring to the home or office. Tea options include milk tea, fruit tea or specials like the Thai iced tea, butterfly pea milk tea and the bestselling strawberry matcha latte. Pair the bubble tea drink and doughnut for a satisfying burst of flavor and an Instagram-worthy setup.
Hours: Wed.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
The Details: 1375 Park Ave., Cranston, instagram.com/bobalovari
Charuma Tea Bar
You’ll find authentic Taiwanese cuisine and bubble tea at this tea bar on Weybosset Street in Providence. It all started with one Johnson and Wales University graduate and two RISD alums, determined to transport locals to the East Asian country via their taste buds. Why the name “Charuma?” Tea in Mandarin is “cha,” and “ruma” stems from Zen Buddhism founder Bodhidharma (“Daruma” in Japanese). The food menu consists of snacks and street food you’d typically eat in Taiwan, including popcorn chicken, french fries, sweet potato fries and chicken cutlets, marinated overnight in seasonings like plum, chili, seaweed salt and pepper and regular salt and pepper with a spicy kick.
Hours: Mon.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. (kitchen stops taking orders at 6 p.m.)
The Details: 45 Weybosset St., Providence, 642-5198, charuma.com
Kimochi Boba Cafe
Yes, it’s just as good as it looks. Dressed to the nines, the bubble tea drinks at Kimochi come with the irresistible urge to keep sipping, tapioca pearls and all. With nearby locations in Providence, Woonsocket and Attleboro, Mass., the Instagrammable boba cafe has a trendy vibe with menu items to match. When available, look out for the mochi doughnuts from Pinku, Kimochi’s sister location, to pair with your boba drink.
Hours: Providence: Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Woonsocket: Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Attleboro, Mass.: Fri. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
The Details: 100 Washington St., Providence, 854-5845; 43 Railroad St., Woonsocket, 642-8432; 1 Park St., Attleboro, Mass., 508-455-0192, instagram.com/kimochibobacafe
Ten One Tea House
With its interior decor reminding guests that less is more, Ten One Tea House provides artisanal drinks made with high-quality ingredients. The contents mirror the decor, using fresh fruits, organic dried flowers and premium loose-leaf tea for most of its tasty beverages.
Hours: Daily noon–10 p.m.
The Details: 216 Thayer St., Providence, 642-1516, tenoneteahouse.com
Vivi Bubble Tea
Since 2007, this vibrant and playful shop has changed the landscape of tea business starting in New York and expanding to more than eighty chain locations throughout the country. Both the Providence Place Mall and the East Side of Providence were lucky enough to gain shops and introduce the Taiwanese culture through fruity teas, tapioca pearls and the signature wide straw.
Hours: Mon.–Thurs. noon–10 p.m., Fri. noon–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
The Details: 224 Thayer St. Lower Level A2; Providence Place Mall, One Providence Place, Providence, 272-8888, vivibubbletea.com
Kung Fu Tea
This spot offers everything from traditional milk tea to fruity sips, yogurt or slushy style drinks and even espresso-caffeinated pick-me-ups. All toppings can be customized to create your own signature drink.
Hours: Mon.–Sat. noon–10 p.m., Sun. noon–9 p.m.
The Details: 110 Waterman St., Providence, 861-1888, kungfutea.com